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March 24, 2007 7:57:59 PM

My brother in law and his wife were talking to me. They want a new computer a tower with a flat panel monitor too. They are gamers just basic stuff. They come to me since I am the techie of the family. I told them buy the parts and I will build it for them. The most they want to spend is $600.00. They want to go with a brand name like Dell or HP or any other brand name since they ASSUME it will come with like a 3year warranty. I am not sure about the warranty but I told them they will save money in the long run if they build it. Their argument was to go with the brand name because it comes with a warranty longer than one year and the customer service. I think all those dells, hp, gateway are all the same. What do you guys think? They are looking to make the purchase in the next two days. Please help. I just want them to make a purchase they won't regret. By the way they are costco members and thinking of going online or going to a brick ond mortar store.

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March 24, 2007 7:59:11 PM

Sorry I meant to say THEY ARE NOT GAMERS. Just basic stuff you know the usual. Word processing, Internet, download a couple of photos from their camera.
March 24, 2007 8:05:09 PM

We both know home built is better, and for $600 you can do them a fine system. Look here at the $500 and adjust those. GPU can be a level or 2 lower, and you might even go with onboard graphics. A good processor and reliable MOBO then a good HD and DVD. You can use a 17" LCD with that setup and a nice case. 1 Gig and OS. You are getting close.
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March 24, 2007 8:07:49 PM

Well you have to think of a few things. First off if you have to build it for them that means you are volunteering to basically be thier 24/7 tech support in case something goes wrong. So your not only making a commitment to build it for them but to always be there to tinker or fix the PC in case some mishap happens.

Personally i prefer to build my own PC's because basically if something went wrong i have the personal knowledge to fix the problem without help. Now if your brother in law and his wife arent good at fixing PC issues and such and may need the basicaly "new user" help when wanting to do things then i'd suggest they get that Dell or HP or whatever.

I really only suggest going with a name brand to people if i know personally that if something when wrong they'd have no idea what to do. This is basically about a good 70% of computer users. People who are used to dialing a number and get step by step instructions on how to fix thier issue. If they dont know much about PC's, get a Dell. If they are computer literate enough to fix issues like hardware failures/installs, CPU switching or maybe even overclocking components then i'm sure they can be thier own tech support and dont need to go name brand. But if thier not, gettin a Dell and being in a cushion of a 1 to 3 year waranty aint bad. Unless of course you are willing to always be on call for them incase something goes wrong.

I know the PC builder in you is saying "stay away from name brand" but you really dont want to throw a custom PC at them and expect them to know what to do in case crap hits the fan. Let the guy from India tell them why thier modem is not working instead of you at 1 am in the morning :p 
March 24, 2007 8:20:17 PM

I would not mind being their technical support for the computer. They would not used it that much especially at 1 in the morning :D 
My other questions is how long is the warranty on the parts of the computer is it just usually just one year? Can they find a decent system for their needs at $600? They already have a printer so they don't need that. Just speakers, the tower and monitor. They want a 17inch monitor. My last question is if they go the brand name route which one will be the best dell, hp, gateway??
March 24, 2007 8:45:24 PM

Agree with this. People with no clue about computers will blame you for everything that goes wrong. Itunes won't work? What have you done? What's worse is that they won't say this to you, but will just be slightly offish and annoyed when things don't happen exactly as they expect. Just wave them off onto Dell and only make home builds for people who understand something about computers (in which case, they'd probably do it themselves anyway...)
March 24, 2007 9:21:59 PM

:D  Home built is always best Standard Warrenty is 1 year on most pc,s Dell Gateway Hp and Compaq,
Now If they pony up some extra cash they can buy a better warretny for 3 years .
If they already made there mind up then let them live and learn, Nothing you will and can do will change that.
I belive infact dell has a few really cheap pc,s that have only a 90 day warrenty.
Best of luck avoid the headachs.
March 24, 2007 9:42:47 PM

They told me $90 for for 2 years, $160 for the 3 years and $200 for four years. Doesn't newegg have an extended warranty on their parts too? That is so true if Itunes goes wrong or something they will be the first to blame me and not the software itself. Never thought about that. Wonder if I can get extended warranties on computer parts? Hmmm?? They are probably going to go to best buy or circuit city some crap like that. I've never dealt with hp or gateway so not sure how their customer service is. I know Dell's sucks. I've called them many times for my old pos dell.
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